‘Professional’ Diamonds impress boss Peaks

Andy Hall takes the congratulations after scoring AFC Rushden & Diamonds' first goal in the 3-0 win over Ware. Pictures by Alison Bagley

Andy Hall takes the congratulations after scoring AFC Rushden & Diamonds' first goal in the 3-0 win over Ware. Pictures by Alison Bagley

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Andy Peaks was impressed with a “professional performance” as AFC Rushden & Diamonds made a swift return to winning ways in the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central.

Diamonds ensured last weekend’s shock 4-0 loss at Beaconsfield SYCOB is now a distant memory as they followed up their NFA Hillier Cup success over Brackley Town with a routine 3-0 win against Ware at a blustery Dog & Duck.

Jack Ashton battles for possession during AFC Rushden & Diamonds' success at the Dog & Duck

Jack Ashton battles for possession during AFC Rushden & Diamonds' success at the Dog & Duck

Andy Hall gave the hosts a half-time lead and second-half goals from Lewis Leslie and Jon Stevenson rounded things off.

The win sent Diamonds three points clear at the top of the table after Chalfont St Peter, who sat in second place at the start of play, were beaten 3-1 at Kings Langley.

And boss Peaks was delighted with the way his team went about their business in tricky conditions,

“The conditions were difficult and I thought we managed the game really well,” he said.

The ball is in the net as Ware goalkeeper Thomas Coulton is beaten by Andy Hall's shot as AFC Rushden & Diamonds sealed a 3-0 victory

The ball is in the net as Ware goalkeeper Thomas Coulton is beaten by Andy Hall's shot as AFC Rushden & Diamonds sealed a 3-0 victory

“It was a professional performance so I am delighted with them.

“It was a very strong wind, which they had in their favour in the first half so it was always going to be hard. It was a battle for the first 15 minutes but I thought we grew into it.

“I was happy by half-time. I thought we were doing the right things and to get the goal was a bonus.

“I knew it would be easier in the second half to squeeze the play and be in their half and that’s how it panned out.

“We ticked all the boxes and it was a long way from last Saturday. But we have had two good performances this week and that is the standard we have to be at.”

Peaks, meanwhile, paid tribute to the ground staff at the Dog & Duck who worked through the morning to ensure the game went ahead.

“They were working hard early in the morning and they have not only made the pitch playable but they have made it so we were able to pass the ball on it,” he added.

“We have said from day one at this club that it’s a team effort. It’s not just the players, we are in it together and we will keep proving that by getting games on.”

Diamonds are back in home action on Tuesday night when they take on Arlesey Town in a re-arranged fixture after the first attempt last month was abandoned at half-time with the game goalless.